East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue


Richard is currently the rabbi for the community of East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue (previously Woodford Liberal Synagogue), which he has served since 2007. In addition, he is the Van der Zyl Head of Vocational Studies at Leo Baeck College, where he also teaches. He serves as a governor and spiritual advisor to Clore Tikva Primary School, and is a chaplain for a North-East London Mental Health Trust. He developed and directed a programme for training Liberal Ba’alei Tefillah (Leaders of Prayer) now in its fourth course, training over 60 people.

Born into a Liberal rabbinic family, and raised in Southgate and then Wembley, Richard studied Modern History and International Relations at the University of Reading. While there, he began a friendship with the Reading Liberal Jewish Community that is still ongoing.

He continues to be a Liberal at heart, having participated in and led youth activities in the UK and at a US Reform Jewish Summer Camp, taught in religion schools and latterly, trained at Leo Baeck College to become a rabbi. As a rabbi, he feels the greatest privilege is being with people during life’s most important moments, happy and sad.

He is married to Lyn and they have three children, Josh (now a primary school Headteacher), Abigail and Hannah. He’s also experiencing the joys of being a grandfather to Josh and Philippa’s son Zachary!